Peter Obi, presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says Nigeria needs to invest in its massive landmass to grow the economy.
Obi, an industrialist, said this in Calabar when he visited delegates of the PDP ahead of the forthcoming party’s presidential primary slated for May 28 and May 29, according to NAN.
The former Anambra governor said it was important for everybody to be productive if the nation must survive adding that other nations in the world were busy producing while Nigeria was busy sharing and consuming.
He said he would replace sharing formula of monthly allocation with a production formula if elected.
“Nigeria is a nation of over 200 million people with about 100 million living in poverty, over 18 million out of school children out of which about 10 million are girls,” Obi said.
“We have 35 per cent unemployment rate and if we add underemployment it will rise to over 50 per cent, many of which are youths in their productive age, so we cannot be celebrating.”
Obi said there was nothing wrong in borrowing as a nation as the largest economies in the world were also in debt but the problem of Nigeria was that it was borrowing for consumption.
“The consequence of borrowing for consumption today is that Nigeria is spending over 90 per cent of its revenue to service debts without much production to show for it,” he added.
“Exporting crude oil has not saved Venezuela or any country, we need to invest in our massive landmass and grow our economy like other nations such as Singapore, Vietnam and even Morocco have done with tourism.”
He appealed to the party delegates to place less emphasis on sharing money as many politicians would come to share money but when it was time to vote they should consider the future of their children.
Responding, Venatius Ikem, chairman of PDP in Cross River, said although things had gone bad for the nation, we could start repairing for the future by voting right.
According to him, Obi is the kind of president Nigeria needs because after listening to him every right-thinking person should have a sober reflection on the way forward for Nigeria.
“I believe if you become president, Nigeria will have a turnaround,” he said.
“I however do not expect Nigerians to just wish but express their wishes through their support for Peter Obi.”